Purchase to Support Our Program

“Bates paints a vivid picture of Rica’s family, folding in plenty of details of their Cape Verde heritage. . . . This heartening and optimistic chapter book emphasizes resourcefulness and resilience in the face of worry, themes sure to resonate with elementary-schoolers, and a final sweet twist is the perfect rosy note to end on.”

Rica Baptista: Llamas, Iguanas, and My Very Best Friend (Rica Baptista #1)

Written by Janet Costa Bates
Illustrated by Gladys Jose
Published by Candlewick Press

Rica Baptista wants—no, needs—a pet. A llama, a kinkajou, or maybe an iguana? She even has a name picked out: Frederica, her own name, after her Cape Verdean great-great-grandfather. But Rica’s parents say no almost faster than their mouths can open. The worst part is that Rica can’t tell anyone the real reason she wants a pet, because she’s not supposed to know—she overheard that her best friend, Laini, is moving away, and Rica worries about being left behind. Rica and Laini make lists of the benefits of having a pet to convince Rica’s parents, and they try all sorts of schemes to raise money to afford one, from party planning to holding a yard sale to entering a poetry contest. But in the end, it might be an act of unselfish kindness and courage that shows that Rica is ready to take on the pet of her dreams. In a rich and amusing story that will appeal to fans of Judy Moody and Ivy and Bean, a sincere and creative protagonist navigates friend and family relationships from funny to frustrating, endearing to insightful.

Primary ISBN: 9781536216301
Available As: Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, eBook
Chapter Book, Age 06 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , ,

Setting: United States

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: 2nd Generation

Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience

Click here for details about how we define our titles.

Engagement Projects & Resources:

Share your favorite resources for this book with info@imyourneighborbooks.org.